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Prevent Blindness declares September as Sports Eye Safety Awareness Month

In Children and Family, Dayton Ohio News, Health, Sports News, Uncategorized on September 14, 2015 at 10:11 am

Dayton, OH – Prevent Blindness has declared September as Sports Eye Safety Awareness Month to encourage athletes to wear proper eye protection while playing sports. According to estimates by Prevent Blindness, the top five sports resulting in the most eye injuries were basketball, water and pool activities, use of air, gas, spring or BB guns, baseball/softball and football. In fact, in a single year, more than 6,000 Americans suffered an eye injury related to playing basketball.

Founded in 1908, Prevent Blindness is America’s leading volunteer eye health and safety organization dedicated to fighting blindness and saving sight. Serving the entire state, the Ohio Affiliate of Prevent Blindness provides direct services to more than 800,000 Ohioans annually and educates millions of consumers about how to protect and preserve the precious gift of sight.

The National Eye Institute reports that a sports-related eye injury is admitted to a U.S. emergency room every 13 minutes. Eye injuries from sports may include infection, corneal abrasions, blunt trauma, inflamed iris, fracture of the eye socket, swollen or detached retinas or a traumatic cataract. In the worst cases, some injuries may result in permanent vision loss. However, this kind of eye injury is 90-percent preventable.

sports googleKatie Neubert is the Dayton Area Manager for Prevent Blindness. “An injury can happen in a split second, but the effects of a series eye injury can have lasting negative effects for a lifetime,” she says. “That’s why Prevent Blindness encourages all athletes to always make sure that appropriate, properly fitting protective eye gear is part of their uniform.”

Parents, coaches, school staff and others can support children’s sports eye safety by following these tips.

Learn About The Risks – Parents, teachers, school nurses and coaches should learn about eye injury risks associated with sports before allowing children to participate. Enroll your child only in adult-supervised sporting activities through a school district, community center, etc., and try to discourage participation in high-risk sports, such as boxing, since adequate eye protection does not yet exist.

Always Use Protective Eyewear – Most sports-related eye injuries are preventable. Whatever the sport or the athlete’s age, appropriate protective eyewear is the first, best defense against eye injury. Also, be sure the child is seeing clearly by getting him or her an eye exam and request recommendations for protective eyewear before enrolling in any sports program.

Learn Warning Signs of Injury – Parents, teachers, school nurses and coaches should familiarize themselves with the warning signs of a serious eye injury and know when to seek treatment. Parents should also make it a point to meet with coaches or athletic trainers to ensure the proper procedures are in place to deal with a child’s eye injury should one occur.

To further support these efforts, Prevent Blindness is teaming up with Liberty Sport to provide eye care professionals with free information and materials through the “September is Sports Eye Injury Prevention Awareness Month” campaign. For more information please call Prevent Blindness locally at 937-223-8766 or visit preventblindness.org/sports-eye-safety.

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